5 Tips For Raising Secure And Unspoiled Kids

Raising children is a constant balancing act. You want to provide structure and stability,Piggy bank in front of blackboard but you also don’t want to run an overly militant household. It’s important to you that you show you care about your child’s whereabouts and choices, but you don’t want to be a helicopter parent. You want your kids to do well in school, but you don’t want to put too much pressure on them.

And when it comes to money, you want your kids to know you can provide them with all of their physical needs, but you don’t want to raise spoiled children who feel entitled to their every whim.

How can you achieve that?

Giving your children a sound financial education should be an integral part of your parenting, and it all goes toward creating this balance. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of five steps you can take to achieve your goal. A parent can never have too many practical pointers!

1.) Use an allowance as a teaching tool

According to a study conducted by the American Institute of CPAs, 89% of parents who give their kids an allowance require them to earn that money through chores. But Ron Lieber, author of The Opposite of Spoiled, argues that this practice is counterintuitive. Lieber claims that allowances should not be given as a reward or as a salary, but as a teaching tool. By giving kids their own spending money with no strings attached, you can help them learn how to manage their money and control their spending habits.

You can also use this opportunity to help them implement the three-jar system, in which they allocate predetermined percentages of their money toward spending, saving, and giving.

2.) Boost their confidence

Peer pressure is a lifelong struggle that may be at its strongest during school-age years. After all, your kids are spending most of their waking hours in the presence of their peers. They may not be astute or mature enough to understand that people must make spending choices that reflect their personal financial situation – and not their neighbor’s.

Help your children make the right choices by fostering a sense of worth that is independent of material possessions. Boost their confidence and build them up so they feel good about themselves just for who they are, and not for what they own or wear.

3.) Say no

Regardless of your financial status, it is crucial that you to refuse your children’s requests from time to time. Everyone needs to learn how to accept a no, and every time you give in to a child’s demand, you are raising their standard of living a bit more.

Say your daughter asks for a $200 designer jacket when you know she has a perfectly wearable one from last spring. If you give in to her begging, you may be affecting her future choices in two ways:

  • By giving in easily, you have just diminished the value of $200 in her eyes.
  • You are raising her standards to a level you – or she – may not be able to sustain.

This doesn’t mean you can never give a child something “just because.” But experts recommend the sporadic “no” so your kids learn to accept that they can’t always have everything they want.

When turning down a request, it’s best to keep money out of the picture. You want your kids to know you can provide them with everything they need, and to understand that they don’t really need everything they want.

Instead of saying: “We can’t afford that right now.”

Try: “You don’t really need that right now.”

4.) Encourage work

Kids who hold down a job when they’re still young are getting a head start on life as an adult. Encourage your child to look for a summer job, shovel snow for your neighbors in the winter and rake their leaves in the fall and accept the occasional babysitting job. They’ll learn responsibility and develop a work ethic. And, best of all, they’ll start valuing their money more when they see how hard it can be to earn a single dollar.

5.) Model gratitude and giving

One of the most important lessons you can give your children is to appreciate what they have and to give back to others. These lessons won’t hit home by being shoved down your kids’ throats through lectures. Instead, use every opportunity you can find to model these behaviors for your children.

Someone did you an unexpected favor? Thank them loudly and profusely – in front of your kids.

Thrilled with your new living room couches? Don’t just luxuriate in their loveliness and softness; verbalize how thankful you are to be able to afford such fine furniture.

You can easily make gratitude a family project by instituting a thankfulness routine at the dinner table in which every child shares a part of their day for which they’re thankful. Or, you can create a “Jar Of Gratitude,” in which family members drop small slips of paper describing something they’re grateful for, to be read aloud on a weekly basis in front of the entire family.

Do the same with giving, bringing your children along with you when you donate old clothing or food, and allowing them to watch you give money to your favorite charitable causes.

By helping your children develop these habits and essential traits, you’ll ward off feelings of entitlement and raise kindhearted, giving adults.

Your Turn: How do keep your kids from getting spoiled? Share your best tips with us in the comments!

SOURCES:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2015/02/24/how-to-not-raise-spoiled-children-7-crucial-money-lessons/amp/ 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/on-parenting/how-to-raisee-kinder-less-entitled-kids-according-to-science/2016/10/03/1a74fa3a-7525-11e6-b786-19d0cb1ed06c_story.html?utm_term=.b2cf30aef01c 
https://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/style/un-spoil-your-kid/ 
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201102/parenting-how-not-raise-spoiled-brats%3Famp 

Financial Tips For Single Parents

Smart money management is always important, but it can take on more urgency for mom and childthose who are without a partner. Whether you’re divorced, widowed, or single by choice, single parenting brings unique budgeting challenges.

Marilyn Timbers, a Connecticut-based financial advisor, says of having to raise a child on one income: “Children are a joy, but they do not come cheap.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes in a report that it costs an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child to age 18, and some single parents have to shoulder that responsibility alone. Even if child support is adequate – unfortunately nearly 50% of that support is never paid – you’ll do yourself a favor if you think ahead about financial matters as a single mom or dad.

Estate planning is your first priority, according to Lisa Hay of Ascend Financial. It’s essential to make arrangements for your children should you become incapacitated, and this means spending time on two documents that no one enjoys thinking about: a will, which specifies a guardian for your children and how you’ll pass assets down to them; and a “power of attorney,” which gives someone the legal right to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.

You may also want to set up a trust. A trust is a legal structure in which your assets can be held for the children. It is overseen by a trustee. And check with your employer to see if it offers a disability benefit. Generally, you will get a reduced income amount when you claim disability – anywhere from 50% to 70% of your salary. “Your income is your most important asset,” says Tom Morrill, owner of Morrill Insurance Group. Insuring it can be especially crucial for single parents who don’t have a second income to cover a gap.

Hay also says be sure to have life insurance. What you purchase will depend on your finances, but a term policy is most economical because it’s a straightforward death benefit. A healthy 33-year-old woman, for example, would pay roughly $240 a year for a 20-year term, $500,000 life insurance policy. This would get your child through college should something happen to you.

Health insurance is “the number one insurance need for a single parent,” according to Morrill, who considers life insurance a close second. People often complain about the cost, but if you’re uninsured, a serious medical procedure or hospital stay can be disastrous to your finances. And, of course, losing a job or becoming ill is still more catastrophic as a single parent than as part of a two-income couple. A recent Harvard study revealed that 62 percent of bankruptcies were caused by medical debt. You can comparison-shop for policies at your state’s marketplace or at HealthCare.gov.

Along with the rest of your boring-but-necessary financial thinking, don’t forget about tax breaks. If you’re a single parent, you should probably file as head of household (not as single) because you’ll often pay less and get to claim a higher standard deduction. You can also claim exemptions for yourself and each qualifying child. You also might qualify for the earned income tax credit, the child and dependent care credit (if you pay someone to care for your kids), and the child tax credit.

As far as day-to-day household operations, here are a few more things to keep in mind:

  • Credit cards – In The Financial Guide for Single Parents Workbook, Larry Burkett warns single parents that, while credit cards may seem like an easy way to fill in the gaps of a decreased income, it’s wise to avoid using them as much as possible.
  • Shopping in general – Many single parents have to make lifestyle adjustments after a divorce or the death of a spouse. You may need to consider moving or changing your spending habits. Burkett notes that lots of people like to go shopping to cheer themselves up, but the added debt you’ll incur will only make you feel worse. This even applies to groceries, which are an expensive part of the budget. Plan that trip carefully, too, so you can better avoid impulse buying.
  • Holidays – Guilt causes many single parents to overindulge their children, even if they can’t afford it. This is especially true during holidays and birthdays. Be sure to set designated amounts for gifts, and stay within the budget.
  • Ask for help – Check with your credit union for financial advice. And there are many nonprofit organizations with programs specifically designed for single parents.

Whatever your income, it’s important to give yourself a safety net, because emergencies happen. Put aside a little bit of money from each paycheck to set up an emergency fund for car repairs, broken refrigerators and other realities of life. As a general rule, experts recommend having six months’ worth of non-discretionary expenses in an account that is separate from the one you use for daily expenses. That could be a savings account or possibly a low-risk investment account.

Bucket budgeting can help, says Jan Cullinane, author of AARP’s The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement. That means creating four different accounts: one for fixed monthly expenses such as food and bills, another for long-term expenses like retirement or replacing appliances, a third for emergencies and a fourth for discretionary spending.

“Put the appropriate amount of money into the first three, and whatever is left is your discretionary or ‘fun’ spending,” says Cullinane. “If there is nothing left for that month in the ‘fun’ bucket, you simply go without – you don’t dip into the other buckets. Harsh, but necessary.”

And it’s more doable than you’d think. One study asked people if they could save 20 percent of their income. Most respondents said no. But, when asked if they could live on 80 percent of their income, most said yes. “Be aware of how you frame questions to yourself,” Cullinane says. “You might be surprised.”

Your Turn: Have you faced tough questions and financial circumstances as a single parent? What were the most useful solutions you found?

SOURCES:
http://www.familyminute.com/articles/parenting/single-parenting/financial-pitfalls-for-the-single-parent/#.WTnLa2jyvIU 

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/10/17/the-best-budgeting-strategies-for-single-parents 
http://www.cheatsheet.com/personal-finance/5-personal-finance-tips-for-single-parents.html/?a=viewall 
https://www.betterment.com/resources/life/family/7-financial-planning-tips-single-parents/ 
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/top-financial-planning-tips-single-parents/story?id=20906018#